Bolivia Approves Landmark Law to… | Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
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Bolivia Approves Landmark Law to Reduce Tobacco Use and Provide Its People a Healthier Future

Statement of Patricia Sosa, Director of Latin American and the Caribbean Programs, Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
February 14, 2020

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Yesterday, the President of the Bolivian Senate, Eva Copa, signed into law a comprehensive tobacco control bill that will reduce tobacco consumption and protect Bolivians from the harms of tobacco use.

The new law makes all indoor public spaces 100 percent free from tobacco smoke, protecting all Bolivians from the dangers of secondhand smoke. The law also mandates larger graphic health warnings covering 60 percent of the front and back of cigarette packages and restricts tobacco advertising, promotion, and sponsorship, thus protecting children from misleading tobacco marketing.

With the approval of the tobacco control law in Bolivia, almost the entire South American continent is smoke-free. Except for Paraguay and French Guiana, every country in South America has banned smoking in public places, protecting more than 400 million people from the dangers of secondhand smoke.

Tobacco use is a global epidemic with severe health, social, and economic consequences. In Bolivia, around 22 percent of men and about 9 percent of women smoke tobacco. Furthermore, 46.6 percent of youth are exposed to secondhand smoke in indoor public places, and in 2017 more than 4,500 Bolivians were killed by tobacco-related diseases.

As Bolivia did, all countries should protect their peoples’ right to better health and adopt the tobacco control policies of the World Health Organization Framework Convention on Tobacco Control.

The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids applauds the civil society organizations that relentlessly advocated for the new law. We also commend the government agencies, senators, and deputies of the Plurinational Legislative Assembly for standing up to tobacco industry interference and supporting the bill. These representatives of civil society and government have demonstrated their genuine commitment to protecting the health of Bolivians, particularly Bolivia’s children, from the harms of tobacco consumption.